Interactive content for your online store: 360 degree photography – step into the future of online shopping

Interactive content for your online store: 360 degree photography – step into the future of online shopping

8 June, 2021
Interactive content for your online store: 360 degree photography – step into the future of online shopping
All e-commerce store owners have one problem in common: indecisive customers. Unlike in physical stores, customers looking at items online cannot touch products and examine them from all angles. Without knowing exactly what an object looks and feels like, it can be difficult to commit to a purchase.

This problem is exacerbated by having two-dimensional (2D) product photos that poorly convey an object’s volume. 2D product photos do not allow prospective buyers to get a feel of an item or imagine it in their possession.

To make your customers commit to a purchase, show them your products from all angles in beautiful and convincing detail. Let them turn the product before their eyes and make them feel like they are holding and examining a physical product. Using 3D and 360 photography in your online store makes customers feel confident in committing to a purchase, as before doing so, they can examine items in glorious, interactive detail. This technology makes online shopping much more exciting, and it positively encourages customers to make a purchase. In addition, viewing 360 degree photographies online saves customers time and money, as they do not need to go to physical stores.

Why is 360 degree photography needed?

Your online store needs 360 degree photography because customers want to look at products from all angles. They want to feel like they are in a physical store, where they can examine or even spin an item before buying it. Customers want to be sure that when they receive their purchase, it will be how it looked online. Using 360-degree photography on your website gives customers that confidence.

Advantages of 360 photography

360 photography offers a number of advantages that will make you a successful player in your niche market.

  • Increased sales. Let us repeat - 360 photography attracts attention. Your customer can look at the product from all angles and see all the details as if they were holding the item in their hands. As a result, your customer will decide to make a purchase quicker. These photos really turn site visitors into buyers! 
  • Fewer returns. As customers can examine an item and see its details and quality, there are fewer reasons for returns.
  • Fewer questions. What does the item look like from the side? What do the boots look like from the back? Let your customers see the product and its benefits from all angles with their own eyes.
  • Customer care. 360-degree product photos allow customers to enjoy the shopping experience, make them feel like they are in a physical store, and give them the confidence to make a purchase.
  • Interactivity. Customers control the viewing process themselves and interact with the product photo. High-quality 360-degree product photography makes your store stand out and increases your credibility.

What is 360 photography?

360-degree photography consists of taking many photos from all angles of the product. These photos are then stitched together to create one single product image. For shooting small items, a turntable is used. As it rotates, the camera takes a series of photos. For larger objects, such as cars, the product does not move. Instead, the camera moves around it on rails. Nowadays, online stores are increasingly choosing this type of photography to display their products, as customers can examine an item and imagine what it feels and looks like.

How to create 360 degree photos: Option One

There are two ways of creating a 360-degree photo. One option is to create a 360 degree photo that is shot around one axis, either horizontally or vertically. In this case, customers can rotate an item by scrolling left and right, but they will not be able to look at the product from above and below. This option is suitable for products where a top view is needed, but a bottom view is not required. An example of a suitable product for this option is a coffee table: customers can see the top view in a regular picture in the gallery but do not need to see its bottom.

The realism of a one-axis 360-degree photo depends on the number of images used. The more images are used, the more clearly the product will be presented in the final image. As a minimum, 24 photos must be combined, but with such a low number of captures, the final image will move a little when rotated. For more comfortable viewing, you would need to create the photo from 36 images. A high-quality 360-degree collage, like animation, consists of 60–70 photographs.

Option 2: How to create 360 photos

The second option is to shoot in two axes, vertical and horizontal. The resulting 360 photo rotates left-right and up-down and allows online store visitors to view a product from more angles. This type of 360-degree photo is suitable for products like prams, as customers need to see and examine the details both from above and from the sides.

The second axis can duplicate the first (vertical) if it is necessary to show the product in different states. For example, when rotating a photo of a dishwasher, customers will appreciate the ability to open the door with a mouse click. This gives your customers a realistic presence effect, and they will see how the dishwasher looks from different angles when open and closed.

Usually, online store owners choose to display photographs taken from only one plane, where the product can be viewed left and right. This is the basic standard for online marketplaces, and it is an economical option. However, you can make the photo more interesting by using two or three rotation planes and by adding animation. For example, when a customer views a dresser, the dresser’s drawers open and close during the rotation.

You can also decide not to rotate the product but only have animation. When scrolling, the product remains in place, but its parts move. For example, when a customer views a photo of a refrigerator, the doors open, and the drawers slide out.

The nuances of making 360 spins

The specifics of the product influence the creation of 360 spins. Photographing dishes and jewelry is challenging because plates and rings often glint. Unlike during a static photo session, where you can change the angle or slightly rotate items to avoid glare, products should remain stationary when creating 360 spins. Because of this, working with light is an essential part of preparing for a 360-degree shoot.

For the photo session, you need to prepare the product itself. Of course, all images are processed in graphic editing software for color correction and other issues. However, it is best not to solely rely on photo processing.

The difference between 3d and 360 photography

What is the difference between 3d and 360 photography? 3D models are created in a graphics editor and rendered from scratch. Sometimes photographs of textures are used to convey material, for example, wood or fabric, but most of the 3D model image is drawn by a designer. In contrast, a 360 photo consists exclusively of images stitched together.

So, you caught that 360-degree photography is often called 3D, although they two are completely different things. 360-degree photography is a collection of images that can be viewed continuously on a website as a looping video. 3D means viewing a 3D model in all planes. To enable 3D viewing, the website must have 3D functionality. While a 3D model can be a source of beautiful renders, it is a large file and should not be used for most products.

Let us talk about 3D photos in more detail

Our professional designers draw 3D images from scratch in specialty software like 3d Max. To allow your customers to view 3D models from all angles, you need to connect special website plugins. 3D models are often indispensable when it comes to converting visitors to buyers.

Often, a 3D model is needed to create the renders that allow you to show your product in perfect condition. Renders can also be used if it would be too challenging to take photos of the product or if it would be too challenging to deliver it to a photo studio. Pharmaceutical companies tend to use 3D imaging of prescription medication as it removes logistical challenges and because the creation of volumetric shapes is quick and inexpensive.

3D should also be chosen if the product looks imperfect after having been transported from the warehouse. For example, if fingerprints remain or if the packaging is easily damaged. Any defects in the packaging spoil the photo and removing them with the help of retouching is a long and expensive process.

Another reason for choosing 3D is that the designer does not need to see the actual product – seeing photos and technical documentation is sufficient. The 3D option is therefore suitable if your product warehouse is far away and transporting items to the photo studio would be expensive.

3d and 360 photography in a modern studio in Toronto

Competition for customers’ attention in today’s online marketplace is enormous. The winner is the seller who provides the most detailed information about their products. Gone are the days when it was enough to take a good photo of your product. Today, customers expect products to be beautifully photographed from all sides. At our cutting edge studio in Toronto, you can order the production of 3D and 360-degree photography for your online store. We not only carry out high-quality photography in many product categories, but we also process orders for 360-degree photography. By using our services, you will receive high-quality images that are ready to be uploaded to your e-commerce store.

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